Over the years we’ve lived in Thailand, we’ve had many people ask us “How long does it take to do a visa run from Bangkok, over the border to Cambodia, and back?”, and they always seem surprised by the answer.
Doing a visa run from Bangkok to Cambodia and then back again really doesn’t take that long at all. Round-trip around nine hours, and that includes the two hours sitting in a casino eating lunch and doing a bit of gambling, if you go with a visa run service.
So, if you’re one of the thousands of people who’ll end up having to do a visa run this month to Cambodia, here’s the time-line with a visa run service called Jack Golf in Bangkok, so you know what you’re letting yourself in for. Other visa run services will normally take around the same amount of time, just arrive back later if they depart Bangkok later than 5am.
Leave Bangkok at 5am – 90 minutes on the road, stop off at a gas station for a bathroom break and chance to grab a quick coffee, snacks or a cigarette break. Back on the road for another 90 minutes.
Arrive at Cambodian Border, 8.00-8:30 am
Go Through Thailand Immigration to Exit Thailand and Enter Cambodia – 8:45am
Sit at Casino in Cambodia Eating Breakfast/Gambling – 8:45am – 10:45am – How long this takes depends on how many people are crossing the Cambodian border that day and how long it takes the visa service to get Cambodian travel visas put into every person’s passport who came with them that day.
If you’re on a Jack Golf mini van, it usually takes longer than if you came by coach as there are only a few people in a mini van compared to the 50-plus people on a coach.
10:45-11:15am – Cross border back into Thailand. Back on bus/mini van and leave Cambodian-Thai border for drive back to Bangkok.
1:00pm – Stop for bathroom break and buying snacks, coffee or cigarette break.
2:00-2:30pm – Arrival back in Bangkok – can sometimes be later if you go mid-week and traffic is bad. Traffic tends to be less severe on the weekends.
Doing a visa run to Cambodia every few months really isn’t too much of a hardship and can be quite fun if you have some interesting people in your van/bus. We just wouldn’t want to do it every few weeks. Now that would be boring.
Photo copyright – Thailand border – permanently scatterbrained, Creative Commons License